Bay Area Temples Unite For 'National Day Of Jewish Action For Refugees'

Photo: Peg Hunter/flickr
By David-Elijah Nahmod - Published on February 11, 2017.

Rabbi Susan Leider, who leads Congregation Kol Shofar in Mill Valley, knows that this past week's victory at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco isn't the end of the battle. In a 3-0 ruling, the court refused to reinstate President Donald Trump's temporary ban on refugees from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

"It's one small step, but we shouldn't get too comfortable," the rabbi told Hoodline. "We have a long road ahead of us."

Tomorrow, Rabbi Leider and her congregation will be participating in a National Day of Jewish Action for Refugees at the Holocaust Memorial at the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. The event is a joint effort between Bay Area temples, including Congregation Emanu-El and Kehillah San Francisco. The Islamic Center of Mill Valley is also co-sponsoring the action, which Rabbi Leider feels is an important show of solidarity between the two communities.

National Day of Jewish Action for Refugees is a national event with simultaneous rallies scheduled for New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Denver and other cities. HIAS, an international advocacy group for refugees of all faiths and cultures, is the primary sponsor of the Day of Action. 

Holding San Francisco's rally at the Holocaust Memorial is particularly significant, Rabbi Leider said. "President Trump's executive order banning refugees coming as we were commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day was particular painful for all of us."

"We felt that our histories are being erased," she said, pointing to President Trump's Holocaust Remembrance Day declaration, which omitted any reference to the Jewish people"We saw people being turned away at the airport."

Bay Area residents rally at SFO while Trump's executive order was being enforced. | Photo: Peg Hunter/flickr

Rabbi Leider also cited the Voyage of the Damned as an example of what can happen when refugees are turned away. In 1939, an ocean liner carrying more than 900 Jewish refugees attempting to escape Nazi Germany was denied entry to Cuba, the United States and CanadaThe passengers were later accepted at various European countries, including Belgium, France and the Netherlands. But Nazi Germany invaded those countries a year later, and many of those refugees were killed in the Holocaust.

"This is way too familiar for many in the Jewish community and beyond," Rabbi Leider said of the president's executive order.

"We have multiple examples in the Jewish tradition against stereotyping people," Rabbi Leider noted. "One example of this is that we're made in God's image. If we really hold to that, it makes it difficult to stereotype or to make blanket generalizations."

The Day of Action in San Francisco will include musicians and chanting. In addition to Rabbi Leider, speakers will include Rabbi Carla Fenves of Temple Emanu-El and Rabbi Aubrey Glazer of Congregation Beth Shalom.    

The rally will convene at 3pm Sunday and will run for approximately an hour. All communities are welcome.

The Palace of the Legion of Honor is located at 100 34th Ave. The 38-Geary, 18-46th Avenue  and 1-California Muni lines offer service to or near the museum.

Apr 09, 2021
San Francisco Mission Bay

New Belgium Brewing opens first company flagship restaurant and taproom in Mission Bay

Sandwiched between Oracle Park and the Chase Center, New Belgium Brewing — one of the largest craft brewers in the country — officially opened its first company-owned and operated taproom and eatery, New Belgium, at 1000a 3rd Street in San Francisco on Friday.  Read More

Apr 09, 2021
San Francisco Castro Duboce Triangle

Team with Saison ties set to open Mexican restaurant Comodo in the Castro

Hoodline has learned that two people who are part of the restaurant group behind two-Michelin-starred Saison are set to open a new Mexican restaurant at 2223 Market St., formerly Nomica and before that neighborhood favorite 2223 Restaurant. Read More

Apr 09, 2021
San Francisco Civic Center Mid-Market Tenderloin

New Tenderloin program aims to elevate youth voices and promote young leaders

The Tenderloin will see a boost in after-school and community activities for teens and older transitional-aged youth through a new program funded in part by a federal grant. Read More

Apr 08, 2021
San Francisco Ingleside

New Jersey-based Korean American grocery chain H Mart set to open at the edge of Oceanview

At long last, after about an 18-month delay, popular Korean American grocer H Mart is opening its first San Francisco location in OceanView Village at a near-term date still to be announced. Read More